Friday, November 20, 2020

Feel Good Friday - The Hunger Project

The Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. makes me grateful for friends, family and food. It’s also a reminder that this is a great time to highlight an organization fighting hunger. That why today’s Feel Good Friday is focused on The Hunger Project.


Founded in 1977, The Hunger Project (THP) is “a global, non-profit, strategic organization committed to the sustainable end of world hunger.” They work in 23 countries on a mission “to end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.”


Of the 690 million people around the world chronically undernourished, 60% of them are women and girls. That’s why all of THP’s programs are built on the same three pillars:


1.     Start with women

2.     Mobilize communities

3.     Engage local government


The foundation of their work is Vision, Commitment, and Action workshops that take place at the village-level. Here people create their own vision for the future and commit to a 3-month project that uses local resources to achieve the vision. THP provides these leaders with skills trainings in literacy, numeracy, nutrition and local laws. Then they organize people into self-help groups so they have a stronger voice. Finally, THP partners with local governments to hold them accountable to the people and to lobby for state and national law changes.


The work doesn't stop there. While the name of this organization is The Hunger Project, they recognize that “ending hunger starts with people.” That’s why they have programs that address: hunger, poverty, gender equality, environment, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, local democracy, empowering girls, education, self-reliance and social cohesion. Whether that’s providing women with access to microfinance, preventing electoral violence in Bangladesh or promoting sustainable farming practices, all of these programs rely on an innovative, holistic approach that meets local challenges and opportunities.


The work of The Hunger Project reaches 16.5 million people worldwide in 13,600 active communities. There are 464,000 women participating in leadership trainings and the ripple effect of their work reaches into their families and communities. Read details on THP’s impact here.


If you would like to make your own impact by supporting the programs of The Hunger Project, you can do that with a donation and by amplifying their work on social media. Like their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @HungerProject.


I wish you and yours a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Feel Good Friday - Wildlife Conservation Society

Friends, the 2020 election is over! While there are still some ongoing shenanigans, I am moving on and fulfilling my blog promise to dedicate today’s Feel Good Friday post to animals. In particular we’ll look at the animals protected by the Wildlife Conservation Society.


Founded in 1895 as the New York Zoological Society, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) was one of the first conservation organizations in the U.S. Their mission is to save “wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and inspiring people to value nature.”

In order to maximize their resources for the greatest impact, the programs of WCS focus on conserving “14 intact regions on land and in the sea, while reversing the decline of six priority species groups: elephants, apes, big cats, sharks & rays, whales & dolphins, and tortoises & freshwater turtles.” 

Solutions focus on partnering with governments and indigenous communities to protect wildlife, wild places, oceans and fisheries. The team of scientists at WCS share information with other organizations to help combat climate change and wildlife trafficking. They use their expertise to investigate and prevent diseases that move between people and animals, advise on wildlife management, and to influence international policies that will benefit both wildlife and wild places.


In addition, in the 125 years WCS has existed, they’ve “supported governments and communities in the creation or expansion of 268 national parks and protected areas.” They also manage four zoos and an aquarium in New York and provide educational experiences and programs that connect people to animals and inspire an interest in conservation. If you’ve got a favorite animal, whether it’s the African elephant, Siamese crocodile or Siberian tiger, you can search through the WCS website to get information on specific conservation efforts.


To learn more about the history of the World Conservation Society, you can watch a 16-minute film created for this year’s anniversary celebration. You can also support the work of WCS with a donation and stay current by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @TheWCS. #StandforWildlife

Friday, November 6, 2020

Feel Good Friday - Election Integrity Partnership

I was looking forward to posting a variety of Feel Good Friday topics again but, given that the election isn't over yet, we’re going to stick with the voting theme for another week and highlight the work of the Election Integrity Partnership. 

As they explain on Twitter, the Election Integrity Partnership is “a coalition of research entities focused on detecting and mitigating attempts to prevent or deter people from voting or to delegitimize election results.” 

Created in July of this year, the EIP consists of “four of the nation’s leading institutions focused on analysis of mis- and disinformation in the social media landscape: the Stanford Internet Observatory and Program on Democracy and the Internet, Graphika, the Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab, and the University of Washington's Center for an Informed Public.


The researchers at these institutions work with election officials and other stakeholders to find instances of election-related misinformation, analyze reports from public sector and NGO partners and send their findings to the appropriate partners and agencies to mitigate the impact. The EIP website includes a page with detailed policy analysis and a rapid response section that addresses issues such as how the media is handling Trump’s false claims of victory.


In this November 1st NPR story with one of EIP’s researchers, they advised that we might not have election results on Tuesday and emphasize the uncertainty is expected and does not mean the process is illegitimate. Since then, researchers have been hosting multiple briefings each day to share rapid analysis and resources on the election. You can find links to those recordings and read their latest tweets on the EIP home page. If you’d like to get their updates with the rest of your social media, follow them on Instragram and Twitter @2020Partnership.


Here’s hoping this election comes to a fair and peaceful conclusion and next week we can focus on animals.